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Bonnie J. O’Boyle, former editor-in-chief of Power & Motoryacht, passes away

Bonnie J. O’Boyle. Photo courtesy of Bucks County Courier Times

Bonnie J. O’Boyle. Photo courtesy of Bucks County Courier Times

Bonnie J. O’Boyle, former editor-in-chief of Power & Motoryacht magazine, died March 18 at her home in Bristol, Penn.

She left an indelible mark on the marine industry. O’Boyle was co-founder of PMY with Jeff Hammond, who was the magazine’s publisher. She was the first outside investor in the publication, which had its first issue in January 1985 and was the first controlled-circulation consumer magazine in the boating industry.

O’Boyle also has the distinction of being the first woman editor-in-chief of a boating magazine. She responsible for coining the word “megayacht” and for publishing the PMY Top 400 in the August 1985 issue. This description of the largest 400 yachts in the world provided the public yardstick for the owners of these boats to annually discover their rank in the pecking order of the wealthy. She also produced the PMY 100 Top American yachts.

While at PMY, O’Boyle introduced the marine industry to humor columns, bringing in designer Tom Fexas to author a monthly contribution.

Before joining PMY O’Boyle was the managing editor of Boating magazine from 1980 to 1984. She is credited with updating the magazine’s boat-testing procedures and with having another humor columnist Dick Bradley provide a monthly look at boating.

Prior to joining Boating, she worked at Rudder magazine as an associate editor and at Motor Boating & Sailing as managing editor in the 1980s. In 1978, she released Living Off the Sea, her only published book.

O’Boyle graduated valedictorian from Eden Hall in 1963, attended Newton College and graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania. She was a member of Phi Beta Kappa.

After retiring from PMY in 1990, O’Boyle contributed to many community and art organizations in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. She was also a longtime board member for the First Federal of Bucks County, a local bank and enjoyed riding horses. She owned two horses when she passed.

O’Boyle is survived by two sisters and two nieces. Services and internment were private.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in O’Boyle’s memory to the Bucks County SPCA, P.O. Box 277, Lahaska, PA 18931 or Silver Lake Nature Center, 1306 Bath Road, Bristol, PA 19007.

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